Tuesday, July 19, 2016

THE POWER OF PRESENCE



Neil Anderson has traveled the world speaking and teaching, and has written many books. Always at his side, supporting him, has been his wife, Joanne, his partner for over fifty years.

Now Joanne is gripped in a long decline, sinking gradually into agitated dementia. She depends on Neil's presence, even calling him Daddy. He has no training as a nurse, but now for long hours he sits at her bedside and cares for her every need. They do not speak much; conversation is a strain. So Neil has used the silent hours to pray, to spend time in God's presence, and to reflect on what this means.

"I have become keenly aware that God is using Joanne's illness to teach me about the power of presence. I'm learning on a much deeper level the purpose of just being there, and what it means to be still and know that He is God. There is an inexplicable peace that comes from knowing I don't have to 'do' in order to 'be' in God's will--to be in His presence--to be in each other's presence."

"It has been a peaceful time of reflection upon the presence of God, and how that has shaped me, our marriage, and ministry. My theology tells me that God is omnipresent, but we are not always aware of His presence, and yet without His presence we are not fully alive."

My thoughts...

The author shares his experiences in caring for his terminally ill wife and his time in the presence of God during these experiences. Even though we may suffer and grieve while on this earth God is always with us. Holding on to Him is what gets us through these times. I appreciate Anderson's story...the real story with the good and bad. He is an example to the rest of us.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

THE SECOND HALF by Lauraine Snelling



Mona and Ken Sorenson are approaching the best years of their lives. Mona's greatest concern is that Ken will learn of the surprise party she's planning for his retirement from his job as Dean of Students at Stone University. They've already been making plans to travel, spend limitless hours in the garden, and Ken is looking forward to working on his woodworking and fishing with his grandchildren. It's what they deserve after years of careful planning.

But things begin to unravel when Ken learns that office politics are about to destroy his department. Can he really just leave, abandoning the work he spent a lifetime achieving? Mona is eager to build her event planning business with Ken's help, but rather than supporting her, he expresses concern that the stress of the work will send her back into the depression she struggles with. Then, just days before Ken's last official day of work, their son, a Special Forces officer in the Army, learns he's being immediately deployed on a six-month mission in Pakistan. Since his wife left him, the only people he trusts to care for his two young children are his parents. In an instant, everything Ken and Mona spent their lives planning changes, and they will need to find strength, both physical and mental, to become parents once more. This is not the second half they wanted, and when their son fails to contact them as planned, they struggle to trust that it is God's plan, not theirs, that matters most.

My thoughts...

Lauraine Snelling knows how to tell a story...she has been a long time favorite author. I look forward to every new book. In THE SECOND HALF she writes about a couple nearing retirement with plans of travel and enjoying each other to the fullest when their son is deployed and they have grandchildren to raise.

Their lives change and what they thought would be their best years is anything but. I really enjoyed this novel, it's realistic, fast paced, and captivating.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

AZELEA'S DON'T BLOOM HERE



In a dark and dying world, Eugene Sulke stands on the cusp of his lifelong dream: a promotion, money, and a home in the affluent section of Old Chicago, called the Fortress, where he can watch the sun set over the azaleas. Only one thing stands in his way–his own fear that he is responsible for the terrible conditions his new home would wall him off from.

Caught in a web of intrigue and the warnings of his wife, Eugene could not see the unfolding chaos around him. Suddenly, his wife is dead, he’s in prison, and then subjected to the government’s final solution–a mind-altering technique that would change anyone from who they are to anyone they want them to be. A rescue is attempted, but Eugene’s own fears become his worst enemy..His friends must convince him to go to New America and face the shocking truth about what destroyed his world.

My thoughts...

2065. The world is dying except for the Fortress. Eugene has caused the catastrophe and is struggling with whether to join the Fortress or stay in the dying world. Things worsen and wow...you'd better hold on to your seat...this awesome novel will give you the chills. Can he trust the government or are they behind a plan to destroy those who won't go with the flow? Eugene realizes he can't trust anyone...at all.

What a fantastic read! Loved it!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Becoming a Woman of Excellence 30th Anniversary Edition



Society beckons us to succeed―to achieve excellence in our appearance, our earning power, our family life. God Himself also beckons us to be women of excellence. But what exactly is He asking? If you’re hungry for God’s perspective on success in a society that bombards you with conflicting demands, feed on the truths of God’s Word that you’ll discover in these pages. You will not only learn to “approve the things that are excellent” but will also experience the joy of becoming God’s woman of excellence. This bestselling topical Bible study has helped over one million women over the past 30 years, and is newly revised and updated so today’s women can discover who God designed them to be in this day and age. Written by Navigator author and Bible teacher Cynthia Heald, the 11 sessions in this Bible study explore what your identity in Christ is and how you can best serve Him.

My thoughts...

If you're wanting to deepen your relationship with God this book is a step in the right direction. Great for group or individual studies for women of all ages. Inside the pages of this study are memory verses, devotionals, and of course the questions for us to ponder. I found it an interesting study.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

DISTANT GOD: Why He Feels Far Away...And What We Can Do About It



There comes a time in every Christian’s life when God feels distant. This feeling can be confusing, discouraging, or even dangerous. Distant God meets us in the middle of this struggle. It helps us think rightly about what we’re experiencing and gives practical ways for drawing near to God. It answers questions like:

What does it mean that God is always with me?
What role do works (like devotion, confession, and repentance) have in all this?
How should I handle spiritual lows and seasons of doubt?
When we feel distant from God, we need voices of truth speaking into our lives. Drawing from the story of the prodigal son, Chris Nye takes us through various reasons why we may feel this way and offers encouragement along the way.

This is not a book of trite answers or easy solutions, but it offers specific ways of drawing near when God feels distant. It also includes stories of Christians throughout history who have faced this issue in similar ways.

Distant God is a biblical and pastoral answer to why God might feel far away and what we can (and cannot) do about it.

My thoughts...

Have you ever felt far away from God? Sure you have, we all have at one time or another. I enjoyed this book very much, they author explained why and what causes us to feel this way. Though difficult to remember that He is always near it's up to us to keep our focus on Him.

A few of the things I found encouraging are the disciplines we sometimes lose interest in...Nye tells us to preach to the choir! The key is...abiding in Him.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THE INTERCESSOR'S HANDBOOK



Why don't I see more results when I pray?

In this important book, experienced intercessor Jennifer Eivaz offers a practical guide to effective supernatural prayer. Using biblical principles and her own experiences of spiritual breakthrough, Eivaz shows you how to shift your practical needs to the spiritual realm, take hold of your authority and pray in a way that actually makes a difference.

Practical and to the point, The Intercessors Handbook is full of helpful tools for beginners and seasoned intercessors alike. Learn to take your prayers to the places where the real battle is happening--and experience the victory and results you've been seeking.

My thoughts...

A much needed book in the church today...people struggle with prayer daily and the authors of this book have presented insight and a practical how to change your prayer life. There are testimonies that are encouraging...this would make an excellent training manual.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

FOREVER BEACH



One woman struggling to hold on to what she has.

One woman learning to forgive.

Their lives entwined by one little girl.

Sarah Hargreave is anxious to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter Leila. Once a foster child herself, Sarah longs to become Leila’s “forever” family and give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she loves to the drug addicted mother who abandoned her.

Having grown up in foster care, Ilona Cartwright fights for the rights of children who have no one to fight for them. But to Sarah she is Nonie Blanchard, who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward the past.

Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love.

My thoughts...

One would think by the books cover this is one of those great summer reads...well, it is a great read but not a cozy beach read. Shelley has not written her usual style but has given us a raw look at child abuse and neglect. Things that are very realistic...having worked with children who have suffered abuse at the hands of their parents, family members, etc., I can assure you the author has done her research. Not for the weak at heart but I wish everyone would read it and get involved in stopping abuse.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.